Kate Spade
FILE PHOTO: Kate Spade arrives at the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards in New York on June 2, 2003, at the New York Public Library. Reuters/Chip East/File Photo

Kate Spade left her 13-year-old daughter a letter. The American fashion designer was found dead in her Manhattan, New York, apartment on Tuesday. She was 55.

Police have confirmed that Spade, who was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan, took her own life. She was found unresponsive and cold to the touch by a housekeeper, who ran downstairs for help. According to TMZ, the housekeeper told the building’s superintendent, who rushed upstairs and attempted to give Spade CPR.

Spade was allegedly found tied with a red scarf to a closet door knob in a bedroom. She was declared dead at the scene.

Law enforcement sources also told TMZ that she left behind a note addressed to her 13-year-old daughter to tell her that her suicide was not her daughter’s fault. “Bea — I have always loved you. This is not your fault. Ask Daddy!” the letter alleged contained.

Bea is Frances Beatrix Spade, while “daddy” is Andy Spade, whom the designer married in 1994. Andy was said to be in another room at the time of the incident.

“There was a suicide note left at the scene. I’m not going to get into the contents of that note. But that appears to be the sum total of what it is at this point. But we still have detectives on the scene. It’s still a fairly fresh incident,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Dermot Shea said.

“We are all devastated by today’s tragedy. We loved Kate dearly and will miss her terribly. We would ask that our privacy be respected as we grieve during this very difficult time,” Spade’s family said in a statement.

Spade and her husband launched the New York-based company Kate Spade Handbags in 1993. They concentrated on selling handbags at first, but their line extended to clothing, jewellery, shoes and other accessories. The company then opened its first boutique in 1996 in Manhattan’s SoHo district. Coach, Inc. acquired the company last year.

In 2016, she created a new luxury brand named Frances Valentine.